Ajax had a total of 5.4 million ‘interactions’ (reactions and likes) on its TikTok account in December. The Amsterdam club is therefore at the top the list of all football clubs worldwide, followed by Liverpool (4.2 million interactions) and Manchester United (3.3 million).
The enormous growth on TikTok is largely due to one video, which has been viewed 33 million times worldwide, of the goal of Lassina Traoré against Atalanta Bergamo in the Champions League.
“An extreme outlier”, says Ajax spokesman Miel Brinkhuis. “The cheering of Traoré after that goal, in combination with the music used, makes it a unique video. You can hear him screaming loudly in an empty stadium. You normally never hear that in a full stadium, not even on TV.” Filming with a telephone also contributes to the success, he thinks. The images were taken up close, right behind the goal.
Not a fluke
According to Ajax, it is no coincidence, because the video suits the young phone users on TikTok very well. “You have to make short, smooth videos that are worth watching. This was exactly the case with the Traoré video. This was also linked to a music trend of the time, which finished it off.”
The Traoré video was widely viewed in England, Germany, Italy and the US. “Together with the Netherlands and Brazil, these are the countries where our most followers on TikTok come from.”
Also striking was that the Traoré video was only placed on TikTok more than a month after the match. According to Ajax, the videos on TikTok do not always have to be up to date. “We post a lot of ‘old’ content – something that you do less on the other platforms. In addition, you also have to deal with TV rights. You cannot simply place images from the Champions League directly on your channels. In the case of TikTok That works out well, although we would of course want it to be faster on channels like Twitter and Instagram.
Ajax currently has 1.7 million followers on TikTok. Only a few international top clubs, such as Liverpool and Bayern Munich, have to leave the Amsterdammers on the video platform. FC Barcelona is the absolute leader with 6.7 million followers.
Ajax started on TikTok in 2019, even before the real big increase in popularity of the app. “We post more often than other clubs and have a nice mix between match image, fun content and behind-the-scenes. We also respond well and quickly to the trends on TikTok. And we look beyond just our first team. Our youth teams, Young Ajax and the Ajax Women pass by. “
According to Ajax, a very large audience can now be reached on TikTok, not just young people. “It’s really a place where millions of people spend hours every day. It’s really unique and that’s because of the algorithm: with zero followers you can already reach millions of people all over the world. As long as you create unique content and respond to the trends. . “
Due to the great growth on TikTok, the club also sees commercial opportunities. “That is something to be further strengthened together with our commercial department. It is a similar step that we took previously on Instagram, for example. We recently reached the milestone of 5.5 million followers there.”